Thursday, October 23, 2008

Neighborhood Politics Getting in the Way of Progress in East Ft. Worth, District 8


I went to the West Meadowbrook Neighborhood Association meeting this past week. The President, Don Boren told me that he doesn't reply to my emails because my emails "aggravate him" and therefore, go in his junk mail. When I asked him what it was about my emails that aggravated him, he replied, "Suzette, YOU aggravate me!"

I asked him what kind of leader are you if you ignore or brush off someone who "aggravates you?"
Don Boren, Wanda Conlin (married couple, both in leadership positions of WMNA), and Louis McBee - all long time activists in East Ft. Worth, do not like it when someone asks questions, especially questions that question their leadership or lack thereof. Very ironic that I have heard Wanda Conlin (and Louis McBee) beat down Mayor Moncrief for not listening to them and not handling City business in the way that they think he should, and yet they promote someone who can't return emails because the sender aggravates him/them. I wonder who it is that I aggravate more, Don Boren or his wife, (the unofficial Co-President of West Meadowbrook Neighborhood Association), Wanda Conlin. Don Boren tells me that I could "come by his office" but don't email him. Some say that he doesn't like emails because he doesn't want a trace of his words to be on paper. Appears this may be a fact.

People wonder why the West Meadowbrook Neighborhood does not have one nice, clean grocery store, Starbucks coffee shop, a few nice restaurants and has some of the highest number of code violation calls, highest number of Animal Control calls, record # of water main breaks, streets so in need of repair that it's difficult to drive through the neighborhood, residential streets and neighborhoods being used for Industrial Business access & egress, street projects taking months on end to complete, more and more people littering the neighborhood streets and disrespecting the neighborhood properties, Urban Village zoning taking ten years and more to complete, etc.
Perhaps West Meadowbrook Neighborhood Association's boundaries are way too large since they have no interest in representing residents and/or business owners who reside on certain sides of streets w/in the neighborhood. Nor do they have an interest in upsetting their beloved friend at City Hall, Kathleen Hicks who also serves as a representative of West Meadowbrook Neighborhood. Furthermore, when the neighborhood demographics show large black and brown residents & business owners and those numbers are not represented at the Association meetings, you know there is a disconnect between the Association and the people.
Perhaps if more of the true closed door & telephone conversations between Don Boren, Wanda Conlin & Kathleen Hicks were exposed and more people started asking more questions, we could get some visible and tangible progress going on in West Meadowbrook Neighborhood.
Hey this is America; all of us are suppose to be able to voice our opinion, ask questions, expect complete transparency. True leaders will welcome different opinions, suggestions, & more transparency, that's my personal belief and that's what I will continue to expect, push for and work towards.
NOTE:
"Projection, like all defense mechanisms provide a function whereby truth about a part of themselves that may otherwise be unacceptable is shielded."

""People attribute their own undesirable traits onto others."

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Suzette...
I have no idea why you choose to include me in this venomous diatribe. I am not running for office, I don't live in West Meadowbrook, I don't make decisions for West Meadowbrook and I wasn't at the meeting you make reference to!

You have every right to run for political office, but you also seem to be very adept at running off any potential support because you apparently have one large chip on your shoulder.

Please remember "A chip on the shoulder is often a piece of wood that has fallen from the head!"

Louis McBee

Suzette Watkins said...

Louis - I chose to include you in the sentence that reads:

"Don Boren, Wanda Conlin (married couple, both in leadership positions of WMNA), and Louis McBee - all long time activists in East Ft. Worth, do not like it when someone asks questions, especially questions that question their leadership or lack thereof. Very ironic that I have heard Wanda Conlin (and Louis McBee) beat down Mayor Moncrief for not listening to them and not handling City business in the way that they think he should, and yet they promote someone who can't return emails because the sender aggravates him/them"

because I thought it was only fair to the other decision makers: Wanda Conlin & Don Boren. I wholeheartedly disagree with you in that you "don't make decisions for West Meadowbrook Neighborhood Association." You were asked to sit on the Advisory Council of WMNA, and they have your title listed as:

Neighborhood Affairs Chair Louis A. McBee
Email: louis@louismcbee.org
Address: 2320 Oakland Blvd., Suite 11 www.louismcbee.org Fort Worth TX 76103
Home: 817-***-****
FAX: 817-***-****

The WMNA ByLaws state:

Section 3. Management
Affairs of this Association shall be managed by the Advisory Council.

http://www.neighborhoodlink.com/ftw/wmna/

If I have lost your support in my campaign for District 8 City Council representative because I have voiced a critical opinion of your leadership and dealings in WMNA, then so be it. Who you support and don't support, and for what reasons, is your choice.
Everyone has opinions Louis; thank you for expressing yours here on Morning Coffee, Evening Wine blogsite. I do appreciate your voice here and am glad you chose to share it. I hope you will consider keeping your options open for your choice in your City Council representative 2009-2011. Thanks again for reading and commenting.

cwheat said...

Occasionally reader, first time poster.

I live on the far east side of Fort Worth, basically on the line of FW and Arlington. I love both cities and care deeply about both. I read this blog occasionally because the east side has great potential, and has been forgotten in the past, but with the TRV headed east - this could change greatly.

Me feelings are that this blog seems to ring a negative tone, more than it should or needs to be. Yes, politicians don't always come through with their promises, they may stumble occasionally, and yes - truth be told - alot of time they are looking out for themselves; but, my thought is this, they are human and they will make mistakes. Instead of bashing the politicians and approaching them in a negative attitude, why don't we try approaching them with an open mind and a true sense of community. A community that wants to work together.

Working together is the simplest way of solving problems. Humans are humans and if they are constantly bombarded with negative energy and are constantly pointed at as doing wrong, then their want to help may be skewed.

Help them help you.

Simply put: Work to critique effectively, positively, and willingly. You will be amazed what happens.

Suzette Watkins said...

cwheat - I appreciate you taking the time to comment. It always bothers me when people see my comments/thoughts as "negative" because to me, they aren't negative, they are just the brutal truth of the matters. Sure, it is from my perspective and everyone has a different one. I have tried the nice, politically correct approach. However, I don't get results or answers that way either. To me, that is a negative. A negative for the people because most people will not keep banging on the door once they knock and it doesn't open and that's how we get apathy and non-involvement in our communities. Quotes from politicians lately that ring bells for me are:

Obama - "Change doesn't come w/out a fight."

Palin - "Reform doesn't come w/out ruffling some feathers."

McCain - "You want change, become involved in your community, run for public office...."

Hillary Clinton - "We must fight for things as they should be."

If you listen or google the speeches/comments of community leaders/politicians, etc. who have set out to produce change, you will find the same theme as the ones above.

When you try the nice, politically correct way, I have found and seen that it takes much longer to get things done and you are much deeper in the hole as time goes on.

I will make a promise to look for ways to present the truths that I see and hear in a softer way and maybe that will help lessen the negative ring that you are hearing on this blog. I don't want to come across as negative; however, I have no control on how some people perceive my words.

IMO, the mess we are in now with the trillions of dollar bailouts, debt, etc. is mostly because we as a people are afraid of appearing negative, confrontational, rocking the boat, etc. and so most of us say nothing. Nothing, for fear of being perceived as "negative" "bad girl/guy" "difficult" etc. The product of that is what you see today -- people don't get represented in a beneficial manner and our politicians go unchecked. It's disgusting, IMO.

Again, I really appreciate your reading this blog and commenting. I will do my best to soften my words and still get out the truth. That will be a challenge, especially when the people with the power (in general) don't want to hear what you have to say when it's about them and it's critical. Sometimes you come across a mature, secure person that can handle it, but I haven't found it to be the norm or the majority of the time.

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